Great Expectations: Have you been sold Digital Bullshit?

Ian Hopkinson - Great Expectations Have you been sold Digital Bullshit

A lot of so-called internet “experts” are spruiking digital bullshit that’s creating a whopping pile of impossible expectations.

Picture this: the business owner or marketing manager is sitting in front of a digital strategist/marketing guru and listening to a barrage of technical information that is based on very little expertise or experience. It’s one thing knowing the technical side of things, it’s another  thing to have the deep understanding of marketing strategy along with the years of experience necessary to make the technical stuff deliver real business results.

Here’s the deal though (in my humble opinion) – if you don’t know how to give the client proper context and paint the right picture as to what they can realistically expect – you will have a room of people drinking the Kool-aid, handing over suitcases of cash, and loving the buzz of the journey they think they are about to embark on.

Later though, they end up hating you for smashing their dreams by selling them a bunch of high falootin’ digital bullshit.

Dicken’s novel Great Expectations is a long story but  a classic read. Even though it’s been over 20 years since I read it – I do remember how haunting it was when the main character Pip – after coming from great poverty and being supported by a mysterious benefactor into the life of a city gentleman  – found out that this secret investor was a criminal he stole food for from his crazy neighbours house when he was 6 years old.

His life changed for the better and he certainly found a new way of looking at the world – but when he found out it was all backed by a man of questionable ethics Pip felt like he’d been living a lie.

I’ve arrived at meetings with many businesses who are feeling like Pip did. Their original great expectations have been betrayed, and the reality in the end was cold. They’ve invested substantial time, energy and money – and they don’t have the results they were promised.  For example:

The right person with the right expertise and education at the right time is of a high value. Finding a digital consultant that can be real with you and not under the pump to sell you the world may be difficult to find – but they do exist.

Here’s a few tips on what to look for:

  1. A technical person who can still explain things in plain english – and in terms of marketing strategy rather than programming
  2. A consultant who is not attached to a single product solution or service deliverable.  They will not just want to sell you on that marketing channel and apply their solution (but make sure they have a background with hands on experience in technical delivery and service)
  3. The right personality to fit your business – ready to collaborate with you and recommend and vet service providers that fit your needs

Jim Rohn said “We generally change ourselves for one of two reasons: inspiration or desperation.”

The right consultant will enable  you to move forward with good explanations and a clearly defined path. They’ll deliver tangible results and make sure you understand what will and won’t be possible. Hitting the right strategic marks in marketing your business can return exciting rewards.

Shopping for the right service provider can be frustrating – particularly if you’re starting from a desperate position.  But if you fall into making knee jerk decisions based on unrealistic promises, you may ultimately end up wandering longer in the dark while falling further and further behind.

Ian Hopkinson is the original “mad scientist” – a digital creative who is passionate about the online market place and its potential to enable businesses to compete on a global stage. He is the Founder & Principal Consultant at Mad Scientist Digital.

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